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First Look: eMachines ET1831-07

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First Look: eMachines ET1831-07

2:13 /

The eMachines ET1831-07 isn't much of a video playback device, but in all other respects, this is a solid budget PC. Perhaps the best deal going for its features, it also outperforms other desktops in and above its price range on general computing tasks. We recommend this system to anyone shopping for a low-cost computer.

>>Rich Brown: Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at the eMachine's ET183107. This is a basic budget PC. It goes for about $390. We actually really like this system because it has pretty much everything we'd want in a standard desktop PC. On the front panel here you can see it's a pretty standard design, it's straight black, the only difference is a strip right here that actually lights up green when the system is powered on. It looks a little bit cheesy but we're willing to suffer through it considering this is such a good deal. Up here you have a DVD burner. Down here you've got a media card reader and a couple of USB ports. On the back of the system, you can see it's a little bit spare, that's probably not surprising considering the low price, you've got a couple of USB ports here, some Pentium 1 analog audio jacks, VGA ports for video as well as a standard Ethernet cable out. Now, there's no advanced ports on the system, there's no DVI, FireWire, HDMI or anything like that. You can see there's a few slots here if you want to add an expansion card or some other sort of port adapter but mostly this is a pretty straight forward desktop. And inside the case you can see there's actually a fair amount of room for expansion. You get a couple of hard drive base here and a PCI express graphics card slot as well as two stand PCI card slots. There's a 1x PCI express slot as well. So, the power supply is limited and you certainly couldn't put a very high-end 3D card in here but there's a nice amount of room for expansion. For the CPU you get a dual-core Pentium chip that's actually a 2.7 Gig processor so it's fast enough and the system actually did fairly well on our best marks. It outperformed a few budget PCs that cost about $500 so this is a nice little performance value here. There's also 750 Gigabit hard drive, that's actually very large for this price. So, credit to eMachines for not holding back. Running out the components you get two memory sticks for 4 Gigs of memory total. So, we had a little bit of an issue with this PC as far as playing back video from the web. It handled most standard S sources like YouTube and HuLu but HD content was really kind of a challenge for the system. So, if you did want to use it for watching video, you'd probably want to upgrade the graphics card. Otherwise, there's great value to be had here. So, I'm Rich Brown, this is the eMachine's ET183107.

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